The Ithaca Common Council unanimously voted Feb. 1 to have Kris Haines-Sharp fill the vacant 5th Ward council seat.
The seat has been vacant since Mayor Laura Lewis, the former 5th Ward alderperson, was elected in November 2022. Haines-Sharp’s position will still expire Dec. 31 with the rest of the Common Council positions, which will all be up for election during the November 2023 general election.
Haines-Sharp was one of eight candidates for the position who had each been reviewed by the Vacancy Committee that, for this instance, was comprised of the 5th Ward Alderperson Robert Cantelmo, 3rd Ward Alderperson Rob Gearhart and Lewis.
Each interview conducted by the Vacancy Council with the candidates is posted on the city of Ithaca’s website.
In Haines-Sharp’s interview, Lewis asked Haines-Sharp what she thinks are the biggest challenges facing the city currently and how she would address them.
“I think there is a need for trust building, transparency and collaboration,” Haines-Sharp said in the interview. “I think that would be what I would be bringing to Common Council; an intention to communicate well, to work with Common Council members and the constituents I represent as well as all the other offices and committees that we are charged to work with.”
According to The Ithaca Voice, Robert Cantelmo, the other 5th Ward alderperson, is planning to introduce legislation that would alter the selection process in the case of a Common Council vacancy.